Wednesday, August 31, 2005

100 blogs in 100 days

The books you read and the people you meet will determine where you are five years from now ...

I am impressed with how the blogging community is coming together to dispense critical information with the plight of the homeless and displaced in the aftermath of the Katrina Hurricane.

As I read the various blogs, I also get a sense of the goodness of people from the various diversity of blogs out there in the blogosphere.

So taking my cue from others on the web, I want to read / visit 100 blogs in 100 days - it's simple - I don't have access to an recreational vehicle to traverse the country or the world, but I want to visit 100 blogs in 100 days starting tomorrow September 1. Just send a comment with a recommendation of the blogs that you read and why I need to visit, including your own - I promise to visit, stay a while and like a good guest, write about my visit and thank you via email and a link for your hospitality. In fact, I'll create a 100 day sidebar with a link of all the blogs I visit.

Please no porn, spam, rants, politics and angst - I looking for "GOOD NEWS" blogs that reveal what's going on in your life, your dreams - because I want to capture your thoughts that inspire, affirm, encourage, build up and speak life!

WWL-TV blog / Video coverage of Katrina

WWL-TV has a running blog and live streaming video here

7:59 A.M. - Suzanne Parsons: St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office - 2,186 in public shelters in St. Tammany and number is growing.

7:49 A.M. - Governor Blanco: Four Navy ships headed to New Orleans with food and water.

7:38 A.M. - CNN report...another attempt will be made to sandbag the 17th Street Canal.

7:24 A.M. - Slidell Mayor Ben Morris: Electricity is six to 12 weeks away.

7:06 A.M. - Governor Blanco wants the Superdome evacuated within two days.

6:57 A.M. - Governor Blanco: "Absolutely necessary" that the Army Corps of Engineers drop sandbags into the levee breach.

6:50 A.M. - Sen. Landrieu: The whole parish of St. Bernard is gone.

craigslist | scams and fraud

I started using Craigslist with good success to sell some items -
But as always - seller beware -
CraigsList warns us about different types of scams (and what follows is an edited email without all the threads that I received from a guy in Africa attempting to be scammed - shame, shame)


  • Distant buyer offers a high-value (but fake) cashier's check in exchange for your item
    you receive an odd email offering to buy your item site unseen.
  • Cashier's check is offered for your sale item, as a deposit for an apartment, or just about anything else.
  • Value of cashier's check often far exceeds your item - buyer asks you to wire the balance via money transfer service
  • Banks will often cash these fake checks AND THEN HOLD YOU RESPONSIBLE WHEN THE CHECK FAILS TO CLEAR
  • Scam often involves a 3rd party (shipping agent, business associate owing buyer money, etc)

On 8/16/05, mark wrote:

email #1
Hello, Thanks for the mail,The price you are selling for is $225 dollars am
ok with the price and still interested in buying from you,I am ok with the price,
I will like you to withdraw the advert on net cause i am buying from you,I will be paying with a cheque in us dollars,Is that ok by you,As for the shippement
my shipper will be coming for the pick-up.If this is ok with you get me the following informations 1,Your full name to be on the us postal money order. 2,Your postal address. 3,Your phone number both land and mobile. 4,Your postal code. Get me this as soonas possible.Regards

email #2
Hi ,How are you doing.Hope everything is going fine on your side.As a matter fact the deal is on and according to my secretary,he has already sent the cheque out to you(it will arrive by mail).So the payment should arrive in a short while from now.And once you get it,i guess you know how to handle everything.And please dont bother about any other buyer for the , {ITEM}.But there was a little problem which i guess we can handle with understanding.When i contacted my secretary to know may be the cheque as already been sent ,i got to know that there was a misinterpretation while sending the cheque.According to the instruction i gave him,he was suppose to have send you a cheque of 300 dollars for the {ITEM}out of the money he was oweing me .But instead,he sent a cheque of (Dollars 300).It was a terrible mistake and the money order is already out for delivery to your location.He claimed that he thougth i said he should send you a cheque of 2000 dollars.But i know i very well told him to send just dollars 300 ,but i guess he didnt get it straigth. But that should not disturb how own transaction.the deal is on and we will get through it.what will happen is that ,once you get the cheque you will take it to the nearest cashing outlet and cash it immediately,You will deduct a 100 dollars cashing outlet fees and also a 100 dollars for your running around in making the check cashed you will then send the excess fund to my shipper via western union money transfer that sameday.But since,its now coming to you now,i guess i can be assured in you that you can handle it with trust and have it sent to me.hope all is well.mail me back immediately,to let me know that i can trust you to handle everything well.I will be expecting your mailasap.Best Regards and Stay Blessed .

Want to read more?

You've seen them before. They're one of the many spam letters you delete every day. These e-mails, pecked out in choppy English, purporting some remarkably disastrous story of loss and hate and death and chaos and, of course, most importantly, money. The writer is from Africa. He heard about you from somewhere. He thinks you can help him retrieve an obscene amount of money, for which he'll reimburse you handsomely. He wants your bank account information. He wants to call you on the phone.

How to Lose a Guy in Nine Days

Singer Bono Holds Out for Grace

In the book Bono: In Conversation with Michka Assaya, the lead singer and songwriter for the rock group U2 makes an explicit confession of faith.

"It's a mind-blowing concept that the God who created the universe might be looking for company, a real relationship with people, but the thing that keeps me on my knees is the difference between grace and karma."

Saying that the idea of karma is central to all religions, Bono explained:

What you put out comes back to you: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, or in physics—in physical laws—every action is met by an equal or an opposite one.

It's clear to me that karma is at the very heart of the universe. I'm absolutely sure of it. And yet, along comes this idea called grace to upend all that "as you reap, so you will sow" stuff. Grace defies reason and logic. Love interrupts, if you like, the consequences of your actions, which in my case is very good news indeed, because I've done a lot of stupid stuff. …

It doesn't excuse my mistakes, but I'm holding out for grace. I'm holding out that Jesus took my sins onto the cross, because I know who I am, and I hope I don't have to depend on my own religiosity.

Citation: Michka Assayas, Bono: In Conversation with Michka Assayas (Riverhead Books, 2005); submitted by Van Morris, Mt. Washington, Kentucky

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Apple eyePod candy renderings

Apple eyePOD candy - enjoy...

Monday, August 29, 2005

Katrina brings misery... and help

Monday, August 29, 2005 — Batesville, Miss. – By late Sunday afternoon, the line of cars, trucks, buses and vans stretched from New Orleans to Memphis and motels along Interstate 55 flashed a disheartening "No Vacancy" sign. Weary travelers, evacuated from their homes, have found a safe haven from the threat of Hurricane Katrina in the American Red Cross shelters that have opened across Louisiana and Mississippi.

Ricardo Mesa and his wife Sandra were scheduled to leave New Orleans Sunday afternoon on a medical mission trip to Peru. Instead, cancelled flights changed their plans and led them 300 miles north to a Red Cross shelter in Batesville, Miss. The Mesas and their three children were among more than 100 people who spent Sunday night in the Red Cross shelter at the First Baptist Church Family Life Center.

Weathering the Storm with a Little Help from New Friends

Katrina brings misery...
photos sourced by Terenceg

Here's how to help:

All American Red Cross disaster assistance is free, made possible by voluntary donations of time and money from the American people. You can help the victims of this disaster and thousands of other disasters across the country each year by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, which enables the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, counseling and other assistance to those in need. Call 1-800-HELP NOW or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish). Contributions to the Disaster Relief Fund may be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P. O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013. Internet users can make a secure online contribution by visiting American Red Cross

PhotoShop Contests / Are You Worthy?

Stop by and take a look at some very creative PhotoShop renderings and contests...

For example on the above submission: Everyone forgets occasionally. You arrive at work, and as you climb out of your car, you notice a draft. My pants! I forgot again!! Well, celebrities do this all the time. The rules of this game are thus....

Worth1000 is the top creative competition and photoshop contest site on the web. Don't take our word for it. Let our 4,865 galleries of 170,706 original images speak for themselves.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Marshall Goldsmith - paying it forward...

Marshall Goldsmith Posted by Picasa

If you are a regular reader of Fast Company, then you recognize author Marshall Goldsmith's monthly column on leadership, coaching, team building, listening and much more... The American Management Association recently named Marshall as one of 50 great thinkers and business leaders who have made an impact on the field of management over the past 80 years.

Marshall always opens his articles with a gem -- "Our greatest challenge as leaders is not understanding the practice of leadership; it is practicing our understanding of leadership" -- and then proceeds to unpack a truth in a way that very applicable.

"In my older years I have decided to give away as much as I can. My online library is filled with articles, columns, interviews, audios and even many free videos, and I'm always adding more."

Free articles, videos, interviews and resources from Marshall Goldsmith, Leading Executive Coach in Leadership Development and Executive Education.

Thanks Marshall for paying it forward -

Every cartoon tells a story...

'nuff said Posted by Picasa

Joy of Tech

Monday, August 22, 2005

Take less in order to give more

Sarah McLachlan Posted by Picasa

Sarah McLachlan's music video for "World on Fire" deeply moved me having just stumbled upon it - I think often about the plight of the poor, and the reality of the things we covet here in America.

When an artist like Sarah uses a musical platform to make a difference in the lives of many, [by taking the average cost of a music video -- $150,000 -- and donating the funds in kind to sustainable-development charities in Africa] then I'm prompted as well to join in.

Strip the politics out; just be radical in generosity - Many people dream of a cure for cancer in this lifetime; I want to see poverty eliminated... As Sarah sings - take less in order to give more -

World On Fire
The worlds on fire - it's more than I can handle
I'll tap into the water try and bring my share
Try to bring more, more then I can handle
Bring it to the table
Bring what I am able

We part the veil on our killer sun
Stray from the straight line on this short run
The more we take the less we become
The fortune of one man means less for some

Sarah McLachlan site
list of charities donated to...

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Promise Keepers Nashville 2005

View the collection of Promise Keepers Nashville photos by veteran PK photographer Wayne Armstrong.

Nashville / photos beginning on page 3

Wayne Armstrong Digital Photography highlights more than 15 years of some of the most creative photography in the industry. Wayne is available for corporate or individual photography needs. Drop on in to see some of Wayne's award-winning gallery.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Butterfly & Nature Alphabet Posters

Nature Aphabet Posted by Picasa

Thanks to Kevin Kelly's Cool Tools see this beautiful collection of photography by Kjell Sandved.

Read the fascinating story of how "in the spring of 1960 when a young visitor, Kjell (“shell”) Sandved, arrived at the Smithsonian to conduct research for an encyclopedia on nature.

Balancing high on a ladder one day, surrounded by drawers and boxes, he opened the aromatic old cigar box and there it was woven into the tapestry of a wing: a silvery, gleaming letter ‘F.’ “I looked under the microscope at this miniature design,” Kjell recalls, “and marveled at the scales in soft pastel and sparkling silver. Not even a calligrapher could have improved on its beauty. It reminded me of how the ancient scribes lovingly embellished colorful letters in bibles and illuminated manuscripts with human and animal forms.”

On the site, are descriptions and samples of each alphabet! Take a techno break and marvel at the handiwork done by God in creation -

W Posted by Picasa

Eucalyptus trees, also popularly known as Gum trees because some species exude a gum, are fragrant and normally pest-resistant. There are more than 400 species of these tender evergreen trees with smooth, lance-shaped leaves, which can grow to gigantic proportions; some reach heights of more than 400 feet in their native Australian habitats, and up to 200 feet when introduced into California.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Rich people are happier than the poor !

Poor People on the Shore, by Pablo Picasso (1903). Posted by Picasa

This is probably the lamest study ever conducted: Rich people are happier than the poor...

"PHILADELPHIA: Physical health is the best single predictor of happiness and is followed by income, education and marital status, says a study that concludes that rich people are happier than the poor."

No kidding Sherlock - Should have taken the money spent on the study and given it to the poor instead - when we sit around and gabfest about whether music should be free, and debate the theology of driving SUV's, my vote is to take all of that energy and self centerness and be a blessing by standing with the poor - especially to the working poor - witness the following observation:

"It costs a lot of money to be poor in America.

Bankruptcy, check cashing and payday loan stores, credit reporting inaccuracies, and predatory lending all were frequent topics as activists recently gathered for the Consumer Federation of America's Consumer Assembly, the nation's largest annual meeting of consumer advocates."

Last, consider a sermon by Rowan Williams -

"The blessing that comes to us through standing with the poor is not derived from some self-righteous satisfaction of having done good. Rather, it is because in standing with the outcast and the poor we come dangerously and safely close to Christ Himself who said "In as much as you have done to the least of these my brothers and sisters you have done it to me." This is the doing of God's Will on earth as it is done in heaven.

We all love Jesus when he gives us what we want. The sticking point comes when Jesus challenges us to reach out to those on the edge, to those beyond the boundaries of our own community and self interest."

The poor will always be with us - some suggestions:

  • Set aside at least one hour per week to reach out to the needy.
  • Look for opportunities to help the poor in your neighborhood. Give food, furniture, clothing, and time, rather than money.
  • Help with babysitting and housecleaning and repairs.
  • Visit a blind person and read for them.
  • Visit the prisons and pray with the prisoners.
  • Help in a homeless shelter.
  • Participate in a literacy program to help adults learn to read and write.

"The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." Luke 4.18,19 (NIV)

WonderDawg - back from Promise Keepers

Promise Keepers Nashville! photo by Kathryn Richards Posted by Picasa

I've gotten a few emails (thanks!) about my whereabouts since this WonderDawg blog has been less frequent - I been investing heavily at the Promise Keepers event (and it was off the charts!) and contributing a few entries on the local blog. Check it out! I'm honoring the volunteers, posting a lot of photos and plan to write daily articles specifically for Promise Keepers at the local level -

Just a side note - the blog is set up on TypePad and it is the most tempermental blogging tool hands down - fonts get funky and it takes multiple postings to make it look decent - so if you're using Blogger - be grateful; very grateful.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Scaled-back Promise Keepers retains family, faith message

Scaled-back Promise Keepers retains family, faith message

More than 14,000 expected at Nashville conference

The Tennessean - Nashville,TN,USA

In the early to mid-1990s, Promise Keepers was synonymous with stadium-sized conferences filled with men committing their lives to their faith, families and ...

The Tennesean - Article By JEANNINE F. HUNTER

Setting The Stage... Posted by Picasa

Promise Keepers, the nationwide men’s movement that swept the country 15 years ago, is back in Nashville today and tomorrow.

3 — The number of times Promise Keepers has held a major event in Nashville. There was a clergy conference in February 1998 and a men’s conference in August 2001.

14,600 — The number of people expected to attend

13,800 — Number of attendees who either purchased their tickets individually or from churches that sold them in 25-, 50- and 100-ticket blocks.

800 — The number of volunteers; more than half are women.

SOURCE: Promise Keepers

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Showtime at the GEC

PK Nashville Posted by Picasa

The day has finally arrived! I head downtown to be part of an army of 800 plus volunteers to serve the nearly 14,000 participants of this year's Sold Out Nashville Promise Keepers men's conference. Volunteers from Florida to Michigan, Arkansas to Georgia are giving of their time to set the stage for what always proves to be a life impacting event for men and their families.

Promise Keepers has always impacted the communities it visits with Serve The City initiatives. In February of 1998 in Nashville, 60 local volunteers refurbished Murphy Alternative School with landscaping, repairs and painting all the classrooms. This year, a canned food drive will take place at all 20 "Awakening" men's conferences in 2005.

Volunteers in Fort Wayne process some of the 6,000 pounds of donated food that was collected for the Community Harvest Food Bank.
Photo: Wayne Armstrong/PK

Visit our local blog here

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Chillin' with da Polar Bears

Hot Fun In the Summertime Posted by Picasa

New York may boast of Lady Liberty and Parisians may crowd the Louvre to see the Venus de Milo and revel in her armlessness, but only Nashville has polar bears throwing snowballs. Read: Polar bears provide taste of Arctic in August

WonderDawg and Polar Bear Posted by Picasa

"da Polar Bears was down on the floor with WonderDawg. And da Bears be down wit y'all for chillin' an' sez much love, mad props to the peeps and Big Dawgs4Christ, men of God ya'll, Titans, Preds and Kats. Theys knows y'all gots to get in to the big show (Promise Keepers, Titans, NASCAR - 3 big capacity events in Nashville this weekend) an' they axe everyone to be cool while we gets da pimps their bling bling and y'all yo fitty over at the big goverment house to keep the big Nash hood lit up and cool and the light bill paid yaw.”

"It mos def take some serious ice to be chilling - it be so hot to be crotch pot cooking, numsayin?”

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Fifteen hour days away from changed lives

15 Hour Days Posted by Picasa

Twice a year, I have the extreme priviledge to volunteer for Promise Keepers, a Christian men's ministry. Even though I was on staff from 1996 through 2000, the value of seeing men radically impacted by this ministry is so compelling that I always make time to participate as an unpaid volunteer. This ministry, now in its fifteenth year has reached nearly 5.6 million men. Rest assured, it is not because Promise Keepers is great, but because God is. For those critics out there who bash this ministry, unless you've been to a Promise Keepers event or born of the Spirit, you won't be able to comprehend what I'm talking about...

It takes about 850 volunteers and 6 months worth of preparation to execute with excellence an arena based Promise Keepers event. I remember when I came on staff, I was tasked with the 1996 Memphis Promise Keepers conference "Break Down The Walls" at the Liberty Bowl. Wasn't much of a manual around to refer to - but I remember in my prayer time, the Lord was dialoging in my heart - "Kerry, you like doing Super Bowl parties right?" "When you have 100 guys over, what are some of the things you do to prepare for it?" After thinking about all the preparations that guests would need to enjoy a fun filled day, I remember God just speaking to my heart and His response was - "Just do the math!"

Simple enough - 100 guys to 53,000 guys - do the math!

Supposedly Albert Einstein said, "Whenever you get a simple answer to a very complex problem, you know that God just spoke to you."

And needless to say, building great teams of leaders who replicate themselves down the line is one of the greatest joys of volunteering for Promise Keepers. I am so grateful for the Howards, Bobs, Daves, Freds, Tims, Ricks, Jeffs and many other pastors, business leaders, ministry leaders, men and women that I met through this ministry from coast to coast - to this day, my deepest friendships have been born out of co-laboring together for 15 hours stretches - because in the end, when a man's heart is touched, his family (wife, sons and daughters) are positively impacted as well.

photo by Wayne Armstrong/PK

This weekend, we are assembling at Nashville's Gaylord Entertainment Center to witness a sold out gathering of 14,000 ordinary men, poised and ready to be transformed by God into extraordinary men. Considering that across the river, the Tennessee Titans play the Green Bay Packers for the preseason opener; across town, there is a NASCAR race and yet, Nashville is sold out with a waiting list of 700 tickets. Volunteers are giving of their time, driving in from Florida to Michigan to serve with excellence.

So what is involved? It's very simple - take willing hearts, helping hands and assemble great teams with great leaders and establish some boundaries, bathe the effort with lots of prayer, encouragement, affirmation and more prayer and the rest is up to Almighty God.

The Lord doesn't ask about your ability, only your availability; and, if you prove your dependability, the Lord will increase your capability.

Just a FEW THINGS to consider for SET UP -
Mass Transit Plan / Parking Assignments / VIP / Staff / Handicapped / Bus / RV / Volunteer Recruitment / Production / Clean Up Plan / Parking Passes Ordered - Received / Move-In Schedule / FM Transmission / Equipment List / Golf Carts / Radios / Fork Lifts / Crane / Office Equipment / Tables and Chairs / Pipe and Drape /Phone System / Offering Buckets / Map of Rooms and Assignments / Generators / Signage and Placements / Plywood / Dumpsters / Vehicles / Waste Management Plan / Stage / Sound / Lighting / Verify Breakout Sessions / Contracts: Arena, Carts, Tents, Waste, Etc / Insurance / Permits (Fire Marshall, Traffic, Tents, City Use, Sales Tax, etc) / Concessions to be Open-Where and When / Hospitality Plan / # of Phone Lines Needed / Budget Approval / Offering Plan / Maintain Complete Notebook / Volunteer Teams in Place / Know Their Assignments / Prayer Time / Accountability for Work Completed / Discuss Needs / Talk Through the Problems / Celebrate God's Faithfulness

Just a FEW THINGS to consider before GATES OPEN
Radio-Distribution & Instruction / Signs Hung / Sound System Check / Gate Opening Plan / Tarp and Chairs Set / Production / Satellite Tents / Ministry Tents / Registration Help / Volunteer Check-In / Credentials Set-UP / Host Housing Set-Up / Lost and Found Set-UP / Daily Staff Meetings / Travel Team Arrival / Stage Set-Up / Food (Meals and Snacks) / Volunteer and Staff Accommodations / Hotel Liaison / Close Captioning Equip Check / Clean-Up From 14,000 Meals Served / Pick Up Shuttle Vehicles / Assign Vehicle Drivers / Check Each Room on Floor Plan / TV Monitors Installed / Equipment Storage Checked / Ask for God's Favor and Kindness for all Men Attending

Just a FEW THINGS to consider on EVENT DAY
Gate Security / Packet Distribution / Product Stores Open / Ministry Exhibits Open / Concessions Open / Waste Pick-Up Times / Hotel Shuttles / Meal Distribution (feed 14,000 men in 30 minutes or less with no trash) / Production and Stage / Clean-Up Plan (leave the venue cleaner than move in day) / TEAR DOWN / Carts, Tents, Chairs, Copier Returned / Signs, Pipe, Drapes, Packed / Admin. Room Tear Down / Stage Dismantled / Venue Mgr. Check Out and Thank the Lord for His goodness.

"It takes a lot of people working together really hard but, we're in it for an eternal reward. We're in it for the families, the generations that are affected because of these guys," says Steve Chavis of Promise Keepers.

Read the Nashville Promise Keepers Blog here

I was too young to remember...

When I read testimonies like the following, there is no doubt why I serve at Promise Keepers...

I was too young to remember... my fathers first Promise Keepers, but I vividly remember the day he came home. Everything changed that day.

I could tell before he said anything. I could tell by the way he hugged my mother, and the way he walked into the room, and later, the way he said things are going to be different now.

I probably remember because things were different after that day. They remain different and better to this day.

My mother remembers my fathers confession that he had been a good father but a lousy husband, and his promise that it would get better. It meant the world to her and not just because it turned out to be true, but also because she was a woman of faith, and living with a man of little or no faith was hard on her every day.

After that my dad and brother went almost every year for several years, and it kept getting better.

As a daughter, I was jealous that I couldn't go with them, but I understood that part of what makes Promise Keepers special is the privacy and the fellowship of men; having a message targeted at men, knowing that all the other men are not trying to impress anyone standing next to them because they all know what is really going on. I know that helps, because my father told me it helps, and he is a Promise Keeper. It has made a difference in him for the betterment of our whole family, and I cannot thank everyone involved enough for that.

I am sure this is not the testimonial you were looking for, but I thought it might be nice for the men out there to know that the women who love them, love this program too. We love the difference it makes in you, and we respect it. At least my mother and I do. So, thank you Promise Keepers, thank you for giving my daddy a place to worship with other men in fellowship. And thank you daddy, for going, and...just thank you.

I'm going to try not to cry now, because that is the affect it has had on me.


La Verne, California

FROM: PK e-newsletter for May, 2005 - Promise Keepers

Monday, August 08, 2005

Toilet Paper Pranks

Feelin' a Punkster's Love before he Burns in Hell Posted by Picasa

OK, I'm a big fan of pranks and practical jokes - but rolling someone's yard is just so... highway to hell lame. Being a prankster is one thing, but a punkster is simply wrong.

"So tell me why you are here in this handbasket?"
"I killed six million Jewish people..."
"Why are you here?"
"I rolled some old person's front yard..."

Be a little more practical and fun loving with that roll of toilet paper... here's three pranks to get you started and out of the burning inferno (there won't be enough toilet paper down there to wipe the sweat from your brow):

It seems like such a simple little thing to me. I cannot see how someone could get all bent out of shape about which direction the toilet paper unrolls -- from below or over the top. But this is a pet peeve that can cause people to display great amounts of anger if someone were to change directions on them.

So this my friend is the prank. The next time you are at a home during a party, swap the direction the toilet paper faces. It's quick, it's easy and it drives people insane.

See the other two pranks here: Toilet Paper Pranks

Yard selling / teeth grinding time

Charles L. Peterson's Yard Sale Posted by Picasa

I don't know of too many guys that are into going to yard sales - most guys have a target, go in for the hunt, get the item and get out - unless we're at Home Depot or Lowes - for me, I like to audit every item on each of the shelves.

Yard selling on the other hand - I'm good for one every seven years. Moving back from North Carolina with three bedrooms worth of stuff crammed in a seventeen foot UHaul truck was a mental challenge. Do I rent a POD? Throw it all in storage? Buy a big shed? After alternative number 386 didn't work out, it was time to do a yard sale.

However something happened that was so cool !

Visit my home page yard Posted by Picasa

I posted some items - a complete bedroom suite plus a sofa and love seat on Craigslist. Within 30 minutes I got my first email from a med student moving to Nashville with just a suitcase - trusting fellow that I am, she bought it sight unseen. My neighbor and I took it over the next day and got it all set up. I have a heart for college students and especially for those who are strangers in a strange land - I took over the stray items that I had such as toilet paper, laundry soap, sheets, trash cans, bags, etc to be a blessing. Like Mike in North Carolina said - "pay it forward - be radical in your generosity." I'm delighted that I could be an ambassador for Nashville in a Christlike manner.

The next day, a law student purchase the sofa and love seat - so this CraigsList is really cool - to presell the bulk items was a load off my brain.

On another note - my wife hates clutter - my close friends know that when I croak, they will be at my front door (prior to the visitation in the front yard) to pick up Beatle albums for 10 cents and computers for one dollar. All ten thousand (which use to be one hundred thousand albums stored in a 10 x 20 room) of my remaining mint condition LPs with plastic wrapped covers will be in the gutter. So I'm a little paranoid and possessive about my stuff - but again, it's going to eventually burn up anyway.

So the yard sale happened - two things that amaze me - people buy junk that you think would go in the trash can (OK smart guy - so why did you have it in the first place??!!??) and what riles me up is someone who wants to buy a $20.00 microwave for a quarter! I would derive more satisfaction throwing that microwave off a bridge than selling it to that person. Man, I thought I was frugal -

I survived; made enough money to pay for the UHaul move, buy a new digital camera and only toted back in the house 4 boxes of stuff. God's grace at work - I am indeed blessed and highly favored by God.

"Yard Sale" by Charles Peterson - Country-Art.Com.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Familiar voice of hope

Worship at newhope Posted by Picasa

For my comfort level when I roll into a new town, I always look for something familiar - there's a bit of comfort with the familiar. At the same time, I like setting out and exploring a new city as well - when I lived in Durham, NC for a while, I enjoy just driving without a map and seeing where certain roads take me. However, being out in the back country roads are outside of my comfort level - I definitely check the gas level and make sure that there is some sense of civilization around and cell phone service.

About twenty five years ago, my wife and I were traveling back on a rural highway as it appear to be a straight line on the map toward Interstate 65. Traveling through Lawrence County, we rounded a bend and surprise!, surprise! there was this very tall cross burning. We just happened to stumbled upon a Ku Klux Klan gathering - white robes and all. We pulled over to the side of the road to watch, totally mezmerized. A man toting a shotgun tapped on my van window, and said that I was welcome to stay and watch, but I needed to pull over further off the road. Spooky. Mixed marriage. Out in the boonies. Before cell phones.

Anyway, now that I am back in Nashville, I miss the familiar of what I come to love - finding a new church home in a strange city where sermons are relevant, people are relational and oppurtunities are available to plug into. newhope church was a great fit for me, as I jumped into the MC2 men's group (Men Challenged in Christ), enjoyed the hymns that were sung and communion served, along with the setting of a old church with stained glass windows and vibrancy of a three year old church. Somehow I connected with college students as well, with being away from home and what-not that comes with all of the separation anxiety from being away from "home".

All of this to say, familiarity is very comforting. Thanks newhope Church and Pastor Benji Kelley for the authenticity, times of refreshing prayer and comfort while I was in North Carolina. See you soon -

All love is sweet,
Given or returned.
Common as light is love,
And its familiar voice wearies not ever...
They who inspire it most are fortunate,
As I am now; but those who feel it most
Are happier still.

Percy Bysshe Shelley - Prometheus Unbound. Act ii. Sc. 5.

newhope Church link
newhope Church dream

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Downsize Me!

Voluntary Simplicity Posted by Picasa

Here I am back in Nashville - one of the first order of business is what to do with all this stuff that I couldn't sell, donate or giveaway when I arrived back from North Carolina!

As I was pondering this challenge, in the back of my mind was also developing a plan to take advantage of reordering my life and simplifying - Lo and behold, this email crosses my desk - I trust that it will be useful to you as well -

Lessons in simplicity from Gordon MacDonald, Leadership editor at large

Operation Downsizing has been underway in our home for about a month now, and we are on plan. The garage gleams; book shelves are purged (more than I'd wished, less than my wife, Gail, wishes); and breakfast can now be served on the basement floor. Unneeded furniture is gone; tools unused for years are repaired, and old computer peripherals are given away. The town dump is a better place because of us. The to-do list is getting shorter.

We've wanted to do all this for years, but some other priority always got in the way. There was always a compelling reason to postpone Operation Downsizing (we call it OD) and do something else. But early this summer we reached a tipping point in life, and re-sizing and re-ordering our living space became a passion.

In the office phase of OD, I spent several hours going through files that have not seen the light of day for twenty-five years. There are letters and memos that reflect life and leadership in my first years of pastoral ministry. And they offer several observations... - Downsize Me!

Monday, August 01, 2005

Nashville - Same as it ever was

Nashville! Posted by Picasa

What a beautiful city with beautiful people - Nashville, Tennessee.

After a monthly commute for 14 months between Durham, NC and Nashville, I'm so grateful to be finally home with my wonderful family.

My friend commented to me that if I ever moved back to Nashville, (with all the stuff I had) I would have to get my own place (or a massive storage bin!)

However my theology of moving is purge, give away, donate and dumpster as much stuff as possible [its all going to burn eventually]. Then, I box everything up in stackable boxes, stage everything and load 'em up in 2 hours or less.

A man is known by the company he keeps; I would add the greatest honor one could bestow is to help someone move. My covenant brothers Mike, his son Mike, Craig, Teddy and my son Gary all made my move back to Nashville possible. Bless you all for your unconditional friendship and radical generosity! Mike said to me, "I just paying it forward..." So true, we do reap what we sow.

What will I miss about my time spent in North Carolina? Easily newhope Church, the MC2 men's Bible study, my mentoring relationships, the blogging community, neighbors and friendships at work.

Now that I'm back in Nashville, I'll unload, unpack, unwind and then relax, renew and refire for the opportunities that are coming my way. The truth of the matter is, we are all genetically designed and geographically assigned by Almighty God. "I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out--plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for." Jeremiah 29:11 (The Message)

I love Nashville! The people, the music, the community...

Well, there's sixteen thousand eight hundred 'n' twenty one
Mothers from Nashville
All their friends play music, and they ain't uptight
If one of the kids will
Because it's custom made for any mother's son
To be a guitar picker in Nashville
And I sure am glad I got a chance to say a word about
The music and the mothers from Nashville

-Nashville Cats - Words and Music by John B. Sebastian

More to share later...